November 25th-27th 2019 – Magic spells in the field

Sometimes, when our expectation for rain combines with the anxiety of the rain’s failure to arrive, resulting (yet once again) in a make-believe winter, I get the urge to turn to witchcraft. I’d love to have a book of incantations with instructions for concocting a brew from thirsty clods of earth, dried up-snails, a few strands of tresses turned white from worry, and summer vegetables (who have no urge to return their gear to the quartermaster and head off into the sunset). After mumbling some mumbo jumbo, abracadabra – the heavens would open up and shower us with a luscious, rainy, cold and satiating winter. Or not……

So even though this week’s forecast is looking rather glum and the temperatures are way too high for the month of November, we cling to our hopes and prayers for a blessed, rainy winter. Joining us in our hope and anticipation are the winter vegetables, including the very prominent Cruciferae/mustard family. One branch in its family tree is the lovely Brassicaceae kin, including broccoli, kohlrabi, cauliflower and cabbage who have already visited your boxes, as well as their close cousins, the very strong roots growing underground. If any vegetables can make magic happen, it’s them! So, in honor of the return of the Brassicaceae family’s radish roots, I am re-posting a well-rooted bewitched and super mustardy newsletter. Cackle, cackle…

Radish, Turnip, Eye of Newt………

In a popular Hebrew book that my daughters love about five witches (by Ronit Chacham), radishes and turnips are major ingredients in the brew concocted for a spell cooked up by five very amusing witches. As it turns out, not only witches crave these vegetables.  Among us mortals and muggles, the turnip and radish (along with baby radishes and daikon) can be just as vital in a potion to ease the common cold, cough, mucous buildup, hoarseness, infections and other winter ills. Winter is the season in which the members of the Brassicaceae/Cruciferae families thrive. They are cousins, not siblings, since the radishes belong to the Raphanus genus and the turnips to the Brassica genus, but today we will sandwich them all together (or stir them in the same cauldron) and discuss their common characteristics.

So we already know that they all belong to the prominent Brassicaceae family, along with such fellow members as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and kohlrabi, kale, mustard greens, tatsoi, mizuna, arugula and others. Its former name was Cruciferae, (from the word “cross”) after the four-petal flowers resembling a crucifix. Here are some examples:

 

Wild Mustard

Erucaria

Maltese Cross Ricotia

Wild Radish

The Brassicaceaes are a venerable winter family, and we eat various parts of their plants: sometimes the flower buds (broccoli, cauliflower), sometimes the stem (the thick part, as in kohlrabi) or the leaves (mustard, cabbage, tatsoi, arugula and others) and also the roots, to whom this newsletter is dedicated today: the radish, baby radish, daikon and turnip.

Truth be told, this is a populist division. The good parts of the turnip, daikon and radish are not only found underground – a number of parts of these vegetables can be eaten. For instance, turnip greens are very tasty, and some turnip varieties are grown specifically for their leaves, not roots. Leaves of the large radish are bitter and coarse, but the greens of baby radishes have an esteemed place in the culinary arts. The French add baby radish leaves to potato soup and to add a hint of pungency to salads made of steamed spinach.

Other varieties of radishes and turnips were developed in order to make oil from their seeds. These oils were used in the past, and Maimonides mentions them in discussing oils permitted for Sabbath candle lighting (see Mishnah Torah, Shabbat, 5;11). They love the cool winter climate, which slows down their breathing and expands the quantity of carbohydrates, a process which improves flavor. Unstable conditions will produce woody roots and a sharp flavor, and they will turn bitter in warm or dry weather (which is why we make sure to water them in weather conditions such as the present). This is also why they are winter symbols in Israel – the plants develop thickened roots and fancy leaf inflorescence on their crowns.

And now, some words on each of these vegetables:

The turnip is an ancient domesticated crop that was possibly grown in gardens of old in China, Greece, Rome, Egypt and also here. In kitchens throughout, it was a basic, common vegetable. Assaf the Physician (Assaf Harofe Ben Brakhiyahu who lived in 6th century Tiberias) praised the leaves and seeds of the turnip: “The leaves will be useful for all mental distresses and for malaria, while its seeds will be useful in treatment of pain and all sorts of ailments that lead to death.” However, even the juice produced from the root itself is known in folk medicine as beneficial in treating coughs, hoarseness, mucous buildup, and dryness of the nose and mouth. In natural medicine, turnip juice is used to treat malaise as well as kidney stones. In order to produce juice, one must press the root. Half a kilo of roots makes one glass of juice. Half a kilo of squeezed leaves will make half a glass of juice.

At Chubeza, over the past few years we have been growing the familiar type of turnip, with a purplish stain on top, in addition to a special type – a white, round and very sweet turnip. Even confirmed turnip haters have got to try this one!

The radish, too, is ancient and prevalent like the turnip. It is considered to be an appetite stimulant and to assist digestion. Take advantage of its refreshing flavor by serving a fresh radish salad between meal courses to cleanse your palates and prepare for the upcoming flavor. The radish’s medicinal virtues are similar to those of its cousin the turnip, beneficial in treating both respiratory and kidney ailments. In addition, turnips are friendly to pregnant women, known to intensify fetal movement (and not as fattening as chocolate) as well as decreasing gas. Soak swollen feet in a radish bath and feel the relief!

There are many varieties of radishes, differing in size, shape, color, and degree of pungency. At Chubeza, we grow radishes and daikons – the long, white Japanese radish. Take a look at several radish beauties:

small colorful radishes

Black radish

Daikon radish

Red radish

Instructions for Storing:

  • Radishes and turnips are roots, i.e., their function is to absorb food and water from the earth in order to supply them to the plant as needed. When picked, we disconnect the plant from its current supply, and the roots hurry to transform the material they accumulated to the plant’s leaves in order for them to continue to grow. The root itself will eventually become depleted. Therefore, when you receive a radish, turnip, or daikon (and the same goes for beets and carrots) with leaves attached, you must snip the leaves in order to preserve the root’s contents, to keep it fresh and firm for as long as possible.
  • It’s best to store root vegetables in a closed container to isolate them from the processes in the fridge and the materials secreted from other vegetables and food.

Radishes and turnips are great served fresh in a salad or sandwich, but don’t forget to use them in cooking as well. Yes, baby and regular radishes – as well as daikon – can be baked and stir-

fried. In our home, daikon season hails the commencement of Miso Soup season!

Go ahead then: relish the radishes and turn up for turnips. They will add some freshness to this sultry November and warm your hearts.

Awaiting the rain, which may hopefully arrive at the end of this week. Keep your fingers crossed, like this Daikon fella from our field…

Alon, Bat Ami, Dror, Orin, Yochai and the Chubeza team

_____________________________________________________

WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Monday: Swiss chard/kale/New Zealand spinach/totsoi, beets/kohlrabi, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, tomatoes, broccoli/cabbage, carrots, parsley/dill, lettuce/arugula, fennel/daikon/baby radishes. Small boxes only: scallions.

Large box, in addition: Lubia Thai yard-long beans/Jerusalem artichoke/okra, celery, eggplant/red bell peppers, cauliflower.

FRUIT BOXES: Avocados, oranges, pomelit, clementinas, bananas

Wednesday: Swiss chard/kale/New Zealand spinach/totsoi, beets, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, tomatoes, broccoli/cauliflower, carrots, parsley/dill, lettuce/arugula/mizuna, fennel/daikon/baby radishes, scallions/celery.

Large box, in addition: Lubia Thai yard-long beans/Jerusalem artichoke/okra,  eggplant, cabbage/red bell peppers/kohlrabi.

FRUIT BOXES: Avocados, oranges, pomelit, clementinas, bananas/apples.

 

November 19th-21st 2018 – Magic spells in the field

Sometimes the combination of our expectation for rain mixed with the anxiety of it not arriving leaves us once again with a make-believe winter. Nothing has helped to date, so……the time has come to turn to witchcraft!

What we need is a book of incantations, brewing up a concoction of some thirsty clods of earth, dried up-snails, a few strands of tresses turned white from worry, summer vegetables (who just want to return their gear to the quartermaster and head off into the sunset), mix them all together, mumble some mumbo jumbo, and abracadabra – the heavens open up and shower us with a luscious, rainy, cold and satiating winter. True winter.

But in the meantime, we appreciate every droplet of rain in our field, cheering on the drop in temperature, hoping and praying and wishing for a blessed rainy winter. Joining in our hope and anticipation are the winter vegetables, including the very prominent Brassicaceae family. One branch in its family tree is the lovely mustard family and its members, the broccoli, kohlrabi and cabbage who have already visited your boxes. The cauliflower is on her way soon, along with their close cousins the very strong roots growing underground. If any vegetables can make magic happen, it is them! So in honor of the return of the Brassicaceae roots, I am re-posting a bewitched Newsletter. Cackle, cackle…

Radish, Turnip, Eye of Newt……………..

In a popular Hebrew book that my daughters love about five witches (by Ronit Chacham), radishes and turnips are major ingredients in the brew concocted for a spell cooked up by five very amusing witches. As it turns out, not only witches crave these vegetables.  Among us mortals and muggles, the turnip and radish (along with baby radishes and daikon) can be just as vital in a potion to ease the common cold, cough, mucous buildup, hoarseness, infections and other winter ills. Winter is the season in which the members of the Brassicaceae family (formerly the Cruciferae) thrive. They are cousins, not siblings, since the radishes belong to the Raphanus genus and the turnips to the Brassica genus, but today we will sandwich them all together (or stir them in the same cauldron) and discuss their common characteristics.

So we already know that they all belong to the Brassicaceae family, along with such members as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and kohlrabi, mustard greens, tatsoi and others. Its former name was the Cruciferae, after the shape of its four-petal flowers, which resembles a crucifix. Here are some examples:

 

Wild Mustard

Erucaria

Maltese Cross Ricotia

Wild Radish

The Brassicaceaes are a venerable winter family, and we eat various parts of their plants: sometimes the flower buds (broccoli, cauliflower), sometimes the stem (the thick part, as in kohlrabi) or the leaves (mustard, cabbage, tatsoi, arugula and others) and also the roots, to whom this newsletter is dedicated today: the radish, baby radish, daikon and turnip.

Truth be told, this is a populist division. The good parts of the turnip, daikon and radish are not only found underground – a number of parts of these vegetables can be eaten. For instance, turnip greens are very tasty, and some turnip varieties are grown specifically for their leaves, not roots. Leaves of the large radish are bitter and coarse, but the greens of baby radishes have an esteemed place in the culinary arts. The French add baby radish leaves to potato soup and to add a hint of pungency to salads made of steamed spinach.

Other varieties of radishes and turnips were developed in order to make oil from their seeds. These oils were used in the past, and Maimonides mentions them in discussing oils permitted for Sabbath candle lighting (see Mishnah Torah, Shabbat, Chapter 5, halakha 11).

Radishes and turnips love the cool winter climate, which slows down their breathing and expands the quantity of carbohydrates, a process which improves flavor. Unstable conditions will produce woody roots and a sharp flavor, and they will turn bitter in warm or dry weather. This is why in Israel they are winter symbols – the plants develop thickened roots and fancy leaf inflorescence on their crowns.

And now, some words on each of these vegetables:

The turnip is an ancient domesticated crop that was possibly grown in gardens of old in China, Greece, Rome, Egypt and also here. In kitchens throughout, it was a basic, common vegetable. Assaf the Physician (Assaf Harofe Ben Brakhiyahu who lived in 6th century Tiberias) praised the leaves and seeds of the turnip: “The leaves will be useful for all mental distresses and for malaria, while its seeds will be useful in treatment of pain and all sorts of ailments that lead to death.” However, even the juice produced from the root itself is known in folk medicine as beneficial in treating coughs, hoarseness, mucous buildup, and dryness of the nose and mouth. In natural medicine, turnip juice is used to treat malaise as well as kidney stones. In order to produce juice, one must press the root. Half a kilo of roots make one glass of juice. Half a kilo of squeezed leaves will make half a glass of juice.

At Chubeza, over the past few years we have been growing the familiar type of turnip, with a purplish stain on top, in addition to a special type – a white, round and very sweet turnip. Even confirmed turnip haters have got to try this one out!

The radish, too, is ancient and prevalent like the turnip. It is considered to be an appetite stimulant and to assist digestion. Take advantage of its refreshing flavor by serving a fresh radish salad between meal courses to cleanse your palates and prepare for the upcoming flavor. The radish’s medicinal virtues are similar to those of its cousin the turnip, beneficial in treating both respiratory and kidney ailments. In addition, turnips are friendly to pregnant women, known to intensify fetal movement (and not as fattening as chocolate) as well as decreasing gas. Soak swollen feet in a radish bath and feel the relief!

There are many varieties of radishes, differing in size, shape, color, and degree of pungency. At Chubeza, we grow radishes and daikons – the long, white Japanese radish. Take a look at several radish beauties:

small colorful radishes

Black radish

Daikon radish

Red radish

Instructions for Storing:

  • Radishes and turnips are roots, i.e., their function is to absorb food and water from the earth in order to supply them to the plant as needed. When picked, we disconnect the plant from its current supply, and the roots hurry to transform the material they accumulated to the plant’s leaves in order for them to continue to grow. The root itself will eventually become depleted. Therefore, when you receive a radish, turnip, or daikon (and the same goes for beets and carrots) with leaves attached, you must snip the leaves in order to preserve the root’s contents, to keep it fresh and firm for as long as possible.
  • It’s best to store root vegetables in a closed container to isolate them from the processes in the fridge and the materials secreted from other vegetables and food.

Radishes and turnips are great served fresh in a salad or sandwich, but don’t forget to use them in cooking as well. Yes, they can be baked and stir-fried, and they will warm your hearts by adding some coolness to this year’s sultry November.

Impatiently awaiting the rain, which may hopefully arrive at the end of this week. Keep your fingers crossed, like this Daikon fella from our field…

Alon, Bat Ami, Dror, Yochai and the Chubeza team

WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

This season is abounding with fresh, delicious greens. This week, we’re sending you a special winter gift of an additional green vegetable. Enjoy!

Monday: Eggplant/potatoes, green & red bell peppers, lettuce, radishes/daikon/baby radishes, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, broccoli/cabbage, spinach/totsoi, coriander/dill/parsley, Swiss chard/ kale. Special gift: arugula

Large box, in addition: Turnips/beets, Jerusalem artichokes/Thai yard-long beans, celery.

FRUIT BOXES: Apples, bananas, avocadoes, oranges, clementinas.

Wednesday: Sweet potatoes/potatoes, green & red bell peppers, lettuce/mizuna, radishes/daikon/baby radishes, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, spinach/totsoi, coriander/dill/arugula, Swiss chard/kale.

Large box, in addition: Turnips/beets/cabbage, Jerusalem artichokes/Thai yard-long beans, celery.

FRUIT BOXES: Apples, bananas, avocadoes, oranges, clementinas.

October 23rd-25th 2017 – Bewitched!

More new and wonderful signs of renewal: The Ein Harod almonds are back! Beginning this week you will be able to order excellent organic almonds from the Ein Harod Kibbutz in the Jezreel Valley. For the past several years, they have been growing almonds and selling them directly to consumers via small farms. Every year the demand outnumbers the supply, and the almond stock is exhausted in just a few months. Highly recommended! Don’t wait – order via our order system now!

—————

Tomer and Hamutal began producing their apple juice from fruit residuals of Kibbutz Tzuba, and in the process made some very fortuitous mistakes. An error in production resulted in their dry apple cider and apple vinegar (from over-fermented cider). You can read about their nutritious and medicinal virtues in this information page sent by Hamutal (Hebrew.) Also, check out this very sweet article about them by Ronit Vered in Ha’aretz – lots of compliments and true stories. Read all about it!

Tomer and Hamutal’s apple and pear juices are seasonal. They remain with us from the end of summer till the end of fall, after which we sit around and pine for them… Taste them now for an extraordinary treat! As usual, order via our order system.

—————

In honor of the return of the Brassicaceae roots (and Halloween), I am re-posting a bewitched Newsletter. Cackle, cackle…

Radish, Turnip, Eye of Newt……………..

In a popular Hebrew book that my daughters love about five witches (by Ronit Chacham), radishes and turnips are major ingredients in the brew concocted for a spell cooked up by five very amusing witches. As it turns out, not only witches crave these vegetables.  Among us mortals and muggles, the turnip and radish (along with baby radishes and daikon) can be just as vital in a potion to ease the common cold, cough, mucous buildup, hoarseness, infections and other winter ills. Winter is the season in which the members of the Brassicaceae family (formerly the Cruciferae) thrive. They are cousins, not siblings, since the radishes belong to the Raphanus genus and the turnips to the Brassica genus, but today we will sandwich them all together (or stir them in the same cauldron) and discuss their common characteristics.

So we already know that they all belong to the Brassicaceae family, along with such members as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and kohlrabi, mustard greens, tatsoi and others. Its former name was the Cruciferae, after the shape of its four-petal flowers, which resembles a crucifix. Here are some examples:

Wild Mustard

Erucaria

Maltese Cross Ricotia

Wild Radish

The Brassicaceaes are a venerable winter family, and we eat various parts of their plants: sometimes the flower buds (broccoli, cauliflower), sometimes the stem (the thick part, as in kohlrabi) or the leaves (mustard, cabbage, tatsoi, arugula and others) and also the roots, to whom this newsletter is dedicated today: the radish, baby radish, daikon and turnip.

Truth be told, this is a populist division. The good parts of the turnip, daikon and radish are not only found underground – a number of parts of these vegetables can be eaten. For instance, turnip greens are very tasty, and some turnip varieties are grown specifically for their leaves, not roots. Leaves of the large radish are bitter and coarse, but the greens of baby radishes have an esteemed place in the culinary arts. The French add baby radish leaves to potato soup and to add a hint of pungency to salads made of steamed spinach.

Other varieties of radishes and turnips were developed in order to make oil from their seeds. These oils were used in the past, and Maimonides mentions them in discussing oils permitted for Sabbath candle lighting (see Mishnah Torah, Shabbat, Chapter 5, halakha 11).

Radishes and turnips love the cool winter climate, which slows down their breathing and expands the quantity of carbohydrates, a process which improves flavor. Unstable conditions will produce woody roots and a strong flavor, and they will turn bitter in warm or dry weather. This is why in Israel they are winter symbols – the plants develop thickened roots and fancy leaf inflorescence on their crowns.

And now, some words on each of these vegetables:

The turnip is an ancient domesticated crop that was possibly grown in gardens of old in China, Greece, Rome, Egypt and also here. In kitchens throughout, it was a basic, common vegetable. Assaf the Physician (Assaf Harofe Ben Brakhiyahu who lived in 6th century Tiberias) praised the leaves and seeds of the turnip: “The leaves will be useful for all mental distresses and for malaria, while its seeds will be useful in treatment of pain and all sorts of ailments that lead to death.” However, even the juice produced from the root itself is known in folk medicine as beneficial in treating coughs, hoarseness, mucous buildup, and dryness of the nose and mouth. In natural medicine, turnip juice is used to treat malaise as well as kidney stones. In order to produce juice, one must press the root. Half a kilo of roots make one glass of juice. Half a kilo of squeezed leaves will make half a glass of juice.

At Chubeza, over the past few years we have been growing the familiar type of turnip,with a purplish stain on top, in addition to a special type – a white, round and very sweet turnip. Even confirmed turnip haters  have got to try this one out!

The radish, too, is ancient and prevalent like the turnip. It is considered to be an appetite stimulant and to assist digestion. Take advantage of  its refreshing flavor by serving a fresh radish salad between meal courses to cleanse your palates and prepare for the upcoming flavor. The radish’s medicinal virtues are similar to those of its cousin the turnip, beneficial in treating both respiratory and kidney ailments. In addition, turnips are friendly to pregnant women, known to intensify fetal movement (and not as fattening as chocolate) as well as decreasing gas. Soak swollen feet in a radish bath and feel the relief!

There are many varieties of radishes, differing in size, shape, color, and degree of pungency. At Chubeza, we grow radishes and daikons. Take a look at several radish beauties:

small colorful radishes

Black Radish

Daikon radish

Red radish

Instructions for Storing:

  • Radishes and turnips are roots, i.e., their function is to absorb food and water from the earth in order to supply them to the plant as needed. When picked, we disconnect the plant from its current supply, and the roots hurry to transform the material they accumulated to the plant’s leaves in order for them to continue to grow. The root itself will eventually become depleted. Therefore, when you receive a radish, turnip, or daikon   (and the same goes for beets and carrots) with leaves attached, you must cut the leaves in order to preserve the root’s contents, to keep it fresh and firm for as long as possible.

 

  • It’s best to store root vegetables in a closed container to isolate them from the processes in the fridge and the materials secreted

from other vegetables and food.

Radishes and turnips are great served fresh in a salad or sandwich, but don’t forget to use them in cooking as well. Yes, they can be baked and stir-fried, and they will warm your hearts by adding some coolness to this year’s sultry October.

Impatiently awaiting the rain, which may hopefully arrive at the end of this week. Keep your fingers crossed, like this Daikon fella from our field…

Alon, Bat Ami, Dror, Yochai and the Chubeza group

ֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹֹ——————————-

WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S AUTUMN BOXES?

Monday: Coriander/dill, bell peppers/eggplant, lettuce, cucumbers, red/green mizuna , tomatoes, corn, turnips/radishes/baby radishes, slice of pumpkin/red potatoes, sweet potatoes,leeks/ onions.

Large box, in addition: Arugula/New Zealand spinach, beets, Jerusalem artichoke/yard-long beans/okra.

Wednesday: Coriander/dill, bell peppers/eggplant, lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, corn, beets/baby radishes, slice of pumpkin/red potatoes, sweet potatoes, leeks/ onions, arugula.

Large box, in addition: New Zealand spinach/Swiss chard/kale, red/green mizuna, okra/yard long beans/Jerusalem artichoke.

And there’s more! You can add to your basket a wide, delectable range of additional products from fine small producers: flour, sprouts, honey, dates, almonds, garbanzo beans, crackers, probiotic foods, dried fruits and leathers, olive oil, bakery products, granola, natural juices, cider and jams, apple vinegar, dates silan and healthy snacks, ground coffee, tachini, honey candy and goat dairy too! You can learn more about each producer on the Chubeza website. On our order system there’s a detailed listing of the products and their cost, you can make an order online now!

Aley Chubeza #176, October 28th-30th 2013

This week we are delighted to introduce Roy Borochov, a neighbor from Kfar Bin Nun and one of Chubeza’s first clients, and the Gargir flour mills. Those of you who attended the Open Day may have seen (or even experimented with) the lovely mills Roy brought along to grind flour for pita.

Roy, the floor is yours:

When we established Gargir, we aimed to allow each and every one to consume homemade, healthy food. In our viewpoint, one day soon every household will own a home flour grinder. The ability to personally prepare the most basic food product, bread, is a great privilege. You owe it to yourself and your family members to produce healthy bread.

The time that ensues from grinding to use is critical in order to maintain the nutrients of the cereal grain. Once it is ground, the process of oxidation begins and the minerals and vitamins break down, diminishing the nutritional value of the flour. With our products, you can prepare the flour at home from a wide variety of cereals, in the quantity of your choice and with optimal freshness, thus retaining the nutritious benefits.

We offer you home flour grinders based on millstones. These grinders can grind any non-fatty cereal grain (wheat, spelt, rye, barley, hummus, corn and others). We carry a variety of models, from the compact and practical “Easy” model, to those with an ability to produce 125 gr. flour per minute, or the bigger ones, Billy200, Octagon2 (our flagship product) which can grind 220 gr. of your homemade flour in just one minute.

Naturally, as veteran Chubeza clients, we chose to join forces with Chubeza and open another door for you to healthy life.

Take a look at the prices of our grinders. You can make the order via the Chubeza online ordering system or directly from Gargir.

Important: if you order a grinder to be delivered with your vegetable box, please be certain to coordinate this with us so that someone is at home to receive it.

Bon Appetite! To your health!

____________________________

In honor of the return of the Brassicaceae roots (and Halloween) I am re-posting a bewitched newsletter. Cackle, cackle…

Radish, Turnip, Eye of Newt……………..

In a popular Hebrew book that my daughters love about five witches (by Ronit Chacham), radishes and turnips are major ingredients in the brew concocted for a spell by five very amusing witches. As it turns out, not only witches crave these vegetables.  Among us mortals and muggles, the turnip and radish (along with a small radish and daikon) can be just as vital in a potion to ease the common cold, cough, mucous buildup, hoarseness, coughing, infections and other winter spells. Winter is the season in which the members of the Brassicaceae family (formerly the Cruciferae) thrive. They are cousins, not siblings, since the radishes belong to the Raphanus genus and the turnips to the Brassica genus, but today we will sandwich them all together (or stir them into the same cauldron) and discuss their common characteristics.

So we already know that they all belong to the Brassicaceae family, along with such members as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and kohlrabi, mustard greens, tat soi and others. Its former name was the Cruciferae, after the shape of its four-petal flowers, which resembles a crucifix. Here are some examples:

Wild Mustard
Erucaria
Maltese Cross Ricotia
Wild Radish

The Brassicaceaes are a venerable winter family, and we eat various parts of their plants: sometimes the flower buds (broccoli, cauliflower), sometimes the stem (kohlrabi) or the leaves (mustard, cabbage, tat soi and others) and also the roots, to whom this newsletter is dedicated today: the radish, daikon and turnip.

Truth be told, this is a populist division. The good parts of the turnip, daikon and radish are not only found underground–many parts of these vegetables can be eaten. For instance, turnip greens are very tasty, and some turnip varieties are grown specifically for their leaves and not roots. Leaves of the large radish are bitter and coarse, but the greens of small radishes can certainly be used in culinary pursuits. The French add small radish leaves to potato soup and to add a hint of pungency to salads made of steamed spinach.

Other varieties of radishes and turnips were developed in order to make oil from their seeds. These oils were used in the past, and Maimonides mentions them in discussing those oils permitted for Sabbath candle lighting: “At the outset, one is permitted to use other oils – e.g., radish oil, sesame oil, turnip oil, or the like. It is forbidden to use only those which were explicitly mentioned by our Sages.” (Mishnah Torah, Shabbat, Chapter 5, halakha 11)

And now, some words on each of these vegetables:

The turnip is an ancient cultivated growth that was possibly grown in gardens of old in China, Greece, Rome, Egypt and also here. In kitchens throughout, it was a basic, common vegetable. Assaf the Physician (Assaf Harofe Ben Brakhiyahu who lived in 6th century Tiberias) praised the leaves and seeds of the turnip: “The leaves will be useful for all mental distresses and for malaria, while its seeds will be useful in treatment of pain and all sorts of ailments that lead to death.” However, even the juice produced from the root itself is known in folk medicine as beneficial in treating the cough, hoarseness, mucous, and dryness of the nose and mouth. In natural medicine, turnip juice is used to treat malaise as well as kidney stones. In order to produce juice, one must press the root. Half a kilo of roots make one glass of juice. Half a kilo of squeezed leaves will make half a glass of juice.

There are many varieties of radishes, differing in size, shape and color, as well as pungency. At Chubeza, we grow radishes and daikons. Here are some illustrations of several radish beauties:

small colorful radishes
Black Radish
daikon radish

Instructions for Storing:

  • Radishes and turnips are roots, i.e., their function is to absorb food and water from the earth in order to supply them to the plant as needed. When picked, we disconnect the plant from its current supply, and the roots hurry to transform the material they had accumulated to the plant’s leaves in order for them to continue to grow. The root itself will eventually become depleted. Therefore, when you receive a radish, turnip, or daikon   (and the same goes for beets and carrots) with leaves attached, you must cut the leaves in order to preserve the root’s contents, to keep it fresh and firm for as long as possible.
  • It’s best to store root vegetables in a closed container to isolate them from the processes in the fridge and the materials secreted from the rest of the vegetables and food.

Radishes and turnips are great served fresh in a salad or sandwich, but don’t forget to use them in cooking as well. Yes, they can be baked and stir-fried, and they will please your hearts by adding some coolness to this year’s scorching October.

Impatiently awaiting the rain, which may hopefully arrive next week. Keep your fingers crossed, like this Daikon fella we harvested today…

 

Alon, Bat Ami, Ya’ara and the Chubeza team

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WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Monday: Parsley/coriander, eggplants/bell peppers, pumpkin, tomatoes, lettuce,    cucumbers, arugula, carrots, sweet potatoes Small boxes only: radishes, turnips

In the large box, in addition: Beets, daikon, garlic chives, lubia/beans, tot soi/kale/New Zealand spinach

Wednesday: daikon radish/small radish, lettuce, cucumbers, green peppers, cilantro/parsley, sweet potatoes, carrots, arugula, pumpkin, tomatoes, green beans/lubia – in small boxes

In the large box, in addition: turnip, kale/New Zealand spinach, garlic chive/leeks, green beans/lubia/eggplants